Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Ron Paul’s Advice at the Libertarian National Convention: Don’t Be Wishy-Washy

By Adam Dick

Ron Paul, whose forty-plus years in the political arena include a run for president as the Libertarian Party nominee in 1988, received at the party’s national convention last weekend a Hall of Liberty award for his achievement in advancing the libertarian movement. Paul, who was unable to attend the convention, did appear in the convention hall via a video address in which Paul both expressed his deep appreciation for the award and offered some advice to the people assembled. Paul’s advice includes that they strive to be principled instead of wishy-washy.

Early in his message, Paul declares optimism for the libertarian message spreading this year. Paul explains:
It’s an exciting year, right now, for libertarianism to come alive and offer up a solution to the mess we are in. The country’s in a mess. We are in a bankruptcy. The things that we have tried for many, many years — the Progressive Era has ended, and the only answers as far as I am concerned can be found in libertarian ideas. The basic principle, of course, is that of the rejection of the initiation of force — the nonaggression principle.
Dr. Paul continues that he is “absolutely convinced the message of libertarianism, the message of liberty, is the answer to the problems that we have, which means the state is the enemy of liberty.”

Regarding what libertarians taking political action should do, Paul mentions his own principled actions in the US House of Representatives and in campaigns as examples before advising that “the message has to be as pure as possible.” Paul then proceeds immediately to warn of the practical consequences of following a course in which libertarian principles are abandoned. Says Paul:
If we become wishy-washy in our votes and sound like just modified Republicans, I don’t think we can get as many votes and do as well because the message is very, very powerful. It’s an American message.… It’s more popular than ever because of the failure of the system that we have.

As far as I’m concerned, the message is the whole issue. And if we get into the system by saying, “oh well, maybe I can get more votes if I sound more moderate and more middle-of-the-road,” I think that’s useless. Usually you don’t get more votes, and you watered down the message.
Watch Paul’s complete speech here:

The above originally appeared at the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.


  1. Would have been good advice for his son to have taken.

  2. Is there some kind of ring or mantle in Dr. Paul's possession, the bestowal of which signifying the next small-gov statesman to follow?

  3. Good article Adam.
    I decided to watch some of the debate, pretty pathetic.
    Actually very pathetic. The question on Ww1 and 2 showed absolute zero knowledge on history. They just gave us the answer they learned in jr. High.
    The atomic bomb? Seriously? That was self defense?
    Sorry, there are no intellectual giants here. Not even intellectual ants. My 15 year old son could have beat them all out. And why do they call this a debate? I didn't see any debating. Just canned questions for canned answers.
    Politics is not the answer for Liberty.
    And if these are the new leaders of what libertarians are, then I'm no longer calling myself a libertarian.